Confident headshots

Tips on making people look confident in a headshot

Many people become very self-conscious when the shooting starts. This is a natural reaction to the intense scrutiny of the camera so it is essential that you distract them from themselves. Keep up a constant stream of directions, reassurance, flattery, whatever you can come up with, but don't let the flow stop

Keep their posture strong.  Straight back, long neck, relaxed shoulders. I like people to look straight into the camera, as they would in a real life conversation. Turning the head to the side may work for modelling shots but it's artificial. If you want real, it's best avoided

Make them feel good
The most important one. Enjoy them. Very often photographers are being asked to bring out the best in their subjects.  Find that.  The beautiful jawline, the twinkly eyes, that they are funny, or interesting, or being brave. There is always something to like about someone and when people feel liked, the grow in confidence and it shows

There are so many ways to do this but here's five essential ones to start off with 

Look like you know what you are doing 
Be totally in charge of the technical stuff. Work out things like lighting and location before they arrive. Your confidence in your operations will give them confidence

Listen to them
There is nothing more calming and reassuring than being properly listened to.  Good, steady eye contact. Time for them to talk, not rushing them. Showing genuine interest in who they are


Eye, Eye - you look like you know what you're doing

One of the main jobs of a skilful photographer is to make you look like you know what you're doing.

If this doesn't happen, it doesn't matter how beautiful you are or how clever the lighting is, people just won't buy it.  Whatever it is.

It can also be the hardest job, so many people really don't like being photographed.  But it's essential and it's the photographer's problem, not yours

And of course it's all in the eyes.

My next post will be on how to make people look confident.   Five top tips.